Comedy play set in Dartford to be performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival
PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 June 2018
A comedy play set in Dartford and written by 24-year-old resident Vicki Sargent is to appear at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August.
Old Souls follows lacklustre 21-year-old Rosie, who signs up for a befriend the elderly scheme hoping she will meet the grandma of her dreams, only to be faced with the formidable and vivacious Vera, who longs for the adventurous days of her youth, and would rather a whiskey on the rocks than tea and biscuits.
Writer Vicki was born, bred and still lives in Dartford, and felt that her hometown was the ideal setting for her latest comedy play.
Her working class routes are an important element in her comedy writing and she feels it’s really shaped her style. She said: “I have always enjoyed living in Dartford but I have started to appreciate it more as I have grown up.
“It’s close enough to London but it’s not London. It was important for me to keep that element - I wanted to keep it true to my routes.
“I know Dartford so well and that’s why I couldn’t have set the play anywhere else that I’m not familiar with.”
Vicki, an experienced actor and comedian, has not only written Old Souls but also plays the timid Rosie - an amateur baker who works in a café at Bluewater Shopping Centre.
Vicki said: “I had read a few news stories about the benefits of the befriend the elderly scheme and the advantages it can have both on the elderly people and the volunteers and thought it was a really cool idea.
“I’m 24 myself and feel that I live a very ‘elderly’ lifestyle. I love to sit at home watching Netflix and drinking tea and can never really be bothered to go clubbing. Rosie is a bit of an exaggeration of me.
“I think this generation can be a bit afraid of life and prefer to play it safe in terms of their career and everything else, but Vera is the complete opposite.
“She has a really exciting life but her body will no longer allow her to live that lifestyle and she hates it.
“I was writing some comedy material about the idea and started to develop it into a sit-com and I thought the scheme would be a great setting for it.”
The two characters initially clash but they are both very lonely in different ways, and Vera eventually inspires Rosie to push herself and step out of her comfort zone.
Vicki said: “I enjoy bringing a slice of home with me in my shows which tour up and down the country.
“Getting to share my hometown experiences through jokes and plays feels authentic and comforting when I’m performing 400 miles from home.”
This isn’t the first time Vicki will be sharing the Dartford culture with audiences of the Edinburgh Fringe either.
Last year Vicki’s solo comedy show One Woman Army also took great inspiration from her Dartford upbringing - references included recounts of being kicked out of The Flying Boat to school shenanigans at Dartford Science and Technology College.
“I’m really excited about taking this play to the Fringe Festival this year,” added Vicki.
“I’m less nervous this year because I’ve done it twice already and am confident about this.
“My last play was a one-woman thing so I feel this is my first proper play, it’s quite comfortable for me now.”
Vicki said she may consider writing more plays after this one as she enjoys it so much.
Old Souls will be previewing at The London Theatre on June 19, at The Stables Theatre in Hastings on July 4 and at The Bread and Roses Theatre, Clapham on July 24 before heading up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a full run at PQA Venues from August 3 - 27 (excluding August 8, 13 and 20).